Thursday, November 25, 2010

Irene Nachreiner Sings Some Very Old Christmas Songs with a Laid Back-Latin Flavor

If you are the sort of person who needs a decent pile of Christmas music to hear over the holidays, yet balk at the same old songs done the usual way, there are alternatives. I have been listening to a review copy of something that might just be the thing.

It's singer Irene Nachreiner and her CD A Hot and Spicy Christmas (Turquoise Water 3657). The arrangements have a Latin flavor--nylon-stringed guitar, marimba, light Latin percussion, etc. I especially like the violinist-fiddler here. The arrangements are quite simple, earnestly lively and non-cliche. Irene has a kind of deadpan vocal delivery, unpretentious, artless. That works on Hot and Spicy for the songs are some of the older ones out of the European corpus. For a few she has altered the melody lines, there are a few originals, and otherwise you get some of the venerable carols like "Fum, Fum, Fum," "Patapan," "What Child is This?"

It's so straightforward and direct that it put me in a good mindset, which for the holidays is so important. This is music to counteract the revulsion you may be experiencing with all the goody-grabbing greed that a Black Friday promotion blast encourages. And we need to get through that. Irene's music helps. Very much so.

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